Hearsay Rule Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Hearsay Rule, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Hearsay Rule?
(n) Hearsay Rule is the practice followed by the Court to disregard the evidence presented in a court without the personnel presentation of the person giving such evidences or witnesses. This rule underlines the fact that, truth worthiness or credibility of a statement can be arrived on hearing such person
History and Meaning of Hearsay Rule
The Hearsay Rule is a fundamental part of the legal system, both in the US and the UK. The rule is designed to ensure that only reliable evidence is presented in court, and it helps to prevent false or misleading evidence from being used to influence the outcome of a trial.
The Hearsay Rule requires that anyone testifying in court must have first-hand knowledge of the events or circumstances being discussed. This means that they must have personally witnessed or experienced the events in question, and they must be able to provide direct evidence based on their own observations.
If someone is unable to provide first-hand evidence, then their testimony may be considered hearsay and can be disregarded by the court. This is because hearsay evidence is generally considered to be unreliable and it can be easily manipulated or distorted by individuals who were not present at the time of the events in question.
Examples of Hearsay Rule
In a criminal case, a witness is called to testify about the defendant's whereabouts on the night of the crime. The witness says that they overheard someone else say that the defendant was at a specific location that night. This testimony would likely be considered hearsay and would not be admissible in court.
In a civil case, a plaintiff is called to testify about a conversation they had with a third party regarding a contract dispute. Unless the third party is also present in court to testify, the plaintiff's testimony may be considered hearsay and may not be admissible.
In a child custody case, a witness is called to testify about an incident they witnessed between the parents during a visitation exchange. If the witness did not personally observe the incident, but rather heard about it from someone else, their testimony may be considered hearsay and may not be admissible.
Legal Terms Similar to Hearsay Rule
Direct evidence: Evidence that is based on personal observation or experience, and is presented by a witness who has first-hand knowledge of the events being discussed.
Circumstantial evidence: Evidence that is based on inference and indirect information, rather than personal observation or experience.
Admissible evidence: Evidence that is allowed to be presented in court, in accordance with the rules of evidence and the applicable laws and regulations.